I can’t get enough of stuff like Mail Call, Futureweapons, books about World War II, games like Combat Mission, etc. I love all the weapons of war. I love it when they show what a guided bomb can do to a bunker in field tests in slow motion, and the ingenuity that engineers have when it comes to all things military. I know so much about this stuff that when I meet military people, they think I was once in the military.
But I abhor war in all forms. I think it’s the most evil man can get. I protested going to Iraq on three seperate occassions. I hate war mongers. I hate it when people flippantly say “we should invade X country” or “We should carpet bomb X”. I’ve read chilling books about war: Dresden, Nanking, Somalia, Vietnam.
But I can’t help watching a movie and pausing it to indentify the guns they are using. I love military museums. I admit, the Airsoft thing (the realistic full size replicas you can buy that shoot plastic BBs) has umm . . . gotten a wee bit out of control. But all my friends love to shoot them and drink beer when they come over.
Why is this? Does anyone else feel this way? Has there ever been a paper written as to why this is? Or am I an anomaly?
Maybe this belongs in P & R, but I think we can safely avoid any arguments about why war is good or evil.
I don’t think there’s anything strange about having an intellectual curiosity about war and its associated material while not actually liking war as an actual thing.
I’m not so much interested in the nitty-gritty of the technology and such, but I do love military history, especially at the level where you see the “grand sweep” of the politics and strategies involved. Totally anti-war, though.
I love Second World War books, movies, documentaries, and games. I’m not so big on modern combat books and movies, although I’m currently reading Black Hawk Down and really enjoying it.
There are things that Black Hawk Down has in common with a WWII story like Band of Brothers, mostly the camaraderie between the soldiers, which is a huge part of the draw for me, I think.
But other than that, I’m not sure. I’m not an aggresive person at all. I’ve never been to any sort of anti-war protest, but if I went I really wouldn’t fit in, I’m not really one for yelling in a big crowd.
It does seem a bit odd at times to have such a romantic vision of combat.
You know, you’re right. I love Dirty Jobs too. Maybe is IS all presentation. But books are all presented the same (except for writing style), and I read a lot of military history books.
Linking this back to games, I think I recall a preview of a game in a past issue of CGW (now GFW) where a couple of programmers/kids were making a game that accurately modelled hundreds of guns, and modelled such things as slipping on brass casings on the ground, etc. Does anyone remember the name of this game?
Me too, but that’s because I love all “reality” shows where the show let’s you in on the set and in on the in-jokes and stuff. That’s why I love Mythbusters, but was never that fond of Brainiac, even though I love Hammond on Top Gear.
Dirty Jobs is a great show, but I wouldn’t want to -do- any of those jobs.
Military stuff is cool, but I wouldn’t want to -be- in themilitary.
My grandfather flew Navy corsairs in WWII, and even not being in the trenches, it fucked him up real good; having to shoot people, bomb ships, be a part of sinking a ship w/ hundreds of men on board, knowing that any that survived would be likely picked off by sharks (He was stationed in the Pacific)
When I saw Private Ryan, the old man crying at the end made me think of grandpa. Not the exact situation, just the emotional anguish still experience 50 years later. Whew. I wish no one had to go through that.
Answer to first part: Because you are male, and therefore like military stuff.
Answer to second part: Because you are a post-Vietnam Western male, and are therefore scared shitless.
For a less tongue in cheek answer, because there is something visceral about war, and what basically amounts to the fundamental fight for resources and power between people and nations. Likewise, the constant quest for supremcy in weaponry and armor. Asking why this is the case may be akin to asking why six year old boys seem to naturally gravitate toward making guns out of everything possible and pretending to shoot each other. I’ve seen it even in families that otherwise try to shelter their kids from games, TV, etc.
I play very detailed wargames (Advanced Squad Leader, etc.), where a lot of old fights come up. One of them is glorification of the German military (e.g. black SS counters, etc.). I have often asked how people can set boundries (e.g. it is impermissible to play a game on the clearing of the Warsaw ghetto, but okay to play a game on the invasion of the Soviet Union, one of the main goals of which was to enslave and murder an entire population). A lot of people never seem to get why it raises a question that they set their boundry in one place, when other people would look at what they find unobjectional to be reprehensible (e.g. someone who won’t play a game with black SS counters, but has no problem simulating the deaths of millions with cardboard chits for “fun.”).
Sure. I also like kung-fu movies but don’t approve of beating the crap out of people, I like crime dramas but don’t approve of crime, and I love post-apocalyptic movies even though I hope the world never undergoes an apocalypse. It’s not much of a contradiction, at least not to anyone with the ability to seperate reality from fiction. War makes good drama, but a very shitty reality.
As has been said, it’s a common thread in wargaming circles. Some people get off on the Nazi symbology. Thankfully it’s a very small minority. Most are interested as an intellectual exercise.
Germany in WW2 is an interesting problem to solve - it’s an elite, high-tech force that could TAKE OVER THE WORRRRRLD. Most people don’t focus on the whole lining-people-up-and-sending-them-to-camps aspect. Who wants to glorify genocide? No one sane.
There’s something about the gargantuan ressources humanity employs to make war that truly captures our ability to achieve and in the same breadth, destroy. It captures the imagination and brings out the very best and worst of human nature. Fascinating to study but not so fascinating being on the receiving end of it; and to anyone with the capacity for empathy, wouldn’t wish it on anyone else either.
Also, guys like toys, especially loud toys that break things. Seems like a natural fit.
I’m the same ElGuapo. One minor difference though, I actually served in the military. It might surprise you that a lot of the folks that serve detest war and see it as something to be avoided (despite all the cool technology thrown at it.)
I don’t see you as having any problem at all. The people I have a problem with are those who haven’t served, and know nothing about weapons and the technology of war. Yet some of these people think that an invasion, occupation, or bombing of something is a means to prove a point, bully another government, or get votes (yes I just went there.)
Have fun with the programs and information, they are not only well presented, they are usually ten times more interesting than the fifth rerun of that crime drama on the other channel.